Fire fallout smoulders

Stock image.
Stock image.

‘A dropout fuse operated and power pole top switch failed, which caused a sudden explosion,’ Mr Bunko said.

‘There was a loss of power for that area and damage to power equipment, but whether this incident is related to the cause of the fire is still under investigation.’

‘It is far too early to speculate on the cause.’

A Department of Fire and Emergency Services spokeswoman last week confirmed the cause of the fire was accidental.

Water bombers and about 70 firefighters battled the fire, which started just before noon and burnt about 30 hectares of University of WA-owned bushland.

Urban Bushland Council WA president Mary Gray said the fire was a wake-up call for UWA to better protect its land from threats of fire, pest animals and development.

‘UWA needs to minimise future risks of fire by controlling the dry grassy weeds, improving public awareness and ensuring the power poles are properly maintained,’ Ms Gray said.

‘The fire was devastating for many plants and animals, however we now need to look at the bigger picture.’

Ms Gray said UWA had been ‘very aggressive and unco-operative’ over the past 10 years and was now trying to get Federal Government approval for its housing development proposal.

‘Housing on this site is completely inappropriate, and would destroy the jarrah woodland and banksia thickets,’ she said.

‘We would like UWA to completely withdraw its housing proposal and either manage the land properly or give it to the City of Nedlands or State Government to make a wildlife sanctuary.’

A UWA spokesman said the university and its environmental consultants were assessing the fire damage and cost.

‘The university has met its obligations in relation to maintaining the site, including the firebreaks and fox control,’ he said.

‘The impact of the fire on future plans for the site is yet to be determined.’